Exercise

A runner? Not I!

I AM NOT a RUNNER but today I ran/walked 7km in 58 minutes. Mindpower is the key. Last year I did the same distance in 1 hour and 30 minutes y so that is a 32 minute improvement. In 2014 I did the same distance in 1 and 10 minutes. So from my PB I improved 12 minutes.

How? Well it is not training, that is for sure. It was mind over matter. I figured if I could achieve my handstand and climb a rope in gymnastics then I could push myself a bit harder with running too.

So instead of giving up. I run then I walked and then ran then walked and so on until I got to the end and I totally surprised myself. I was amazed! I am now determined should my knees hold out to improve my time next January… not sure what to aim for but if I try training running, that has got to help in the least.

In the Newspaper – En el periodico

En Español abajo.

What a surprise? I was interviewed for a newspaper and today when I found out it was published we rushed to buy it, looked through all of it and started to think it must have been yesterdays paper. No, it was a full backpage. Amazing!

So thankful for the connections I am making to get this far. A person with Parkinson’s introduced me to the journalist and because she already knew of his struggle she was already sold on helping us out and wants to continue to do so.

By chance I ran into the family at the shops just now and was able to say thank you in person. Juan reiterated that Nelly was willing to write more stories. To which I replied “Yes! I am hoping your story will be next as I know you are a going to improve a lot right?” He smiled sheepishly. Let’s hope and pray! He is a great guy with a lovely family.

I have various friends helping with editing and other tasks which helps so much. It takes a village really. Thank you Josue, Ines, Noelia, Leydey, Yoselyn y David, and my kids. Hoping for more helpers soon. Any volunteers

The article is in Spanish but it explains about starting the Parkinson Association in my city, my exercise and the video I made which documents my gymnastics program which was shortlisted for the #wpc19 video competition.

En Español

¿Qué sorpresa? Fui entrevistado para un periódico hoy, cuando descubrí que estaba publicado, nos apresuramos a comprarlo. Lo revisamos todo y comenzamos a pensar que debía haber sido el periodico de ayer. Pero era una página detrás. ¡Increíble!

Estoy muy agradecido por las conexiones que me ayudaron a educar sobre la enfermedad de parkinson. Juan, un amigo con Parkinson, que me presentó al periodista, Nelly. Porque ella ya subia de la enfermedad de Juan, ya estaba convencida de ayudarnos y quiere continuar haciéndolo.

Por casualidad me encontré con Juan y su familia en las tiendas el mismo dia y pude agradecerles en persona. Juan reiteró que Nelly estaba dispuesta a escribir más historias. A lo que respondí: “¡Sí! Espero que tu historia sea la próxima, ya que sé que vas a mejorar mucho, ¿Verdad?” Él sonrió tímidamente. ¡Estoy orando! Son una linda familia.

Tengo varios amigos que ayudan con la edición y otras tareas que ayudan mucho. Realmente se necesita un pueblo. Gracias a Josue, Ines, Noelia, Leydey, Yoselyn, David y mis hijos. Esperando más ayudantes pronto.¿Quienes quiere involucrarse?

Los trabajos sean administrativo, diseño gráfico, buscando aliados en hospitales y lugar para clases etc.

El artículo está en español, pero explica acerca de cómo iniciar la Asociación Parkinson en mi ciudad, mi ejercicio y el video que hice que documenta mi programa de gimnasia que fue seleccionado para la competencia de videos en el congreso mundial de parkinson #wpc19.

https://diariocorreo.pe/edicion/arequipa/como-superar-el-parkinson-consejos-de-una-paciente-que-vencio-las-dificultades-928439/?ref=dcr

Parkinson’s is like a rope climb!

Parkinson’s is like a rope climb. You think you can’t do it but you hold on for dear life. But you start to climb, it aches, the rope burns. You keep trying. You learn new techniques. Little by little you move up and feel a sense of achievement. But always leave energy for the descent.

Starting the Parkinson’s Association in Arequipa

Speaking at a Lima event of the Parkinson’s Association

The process of starting the Parkinson’s association in my city is taking time. That is the way life is here in Peru as there is always paperwork and permissions and more paperwork to be done. But because of this delay I organised a more intimate meeting with a handful of people that I know to see if I could build up the trust between us. 

Edith (name changed) is a retired teacher who I have heard speak various times and always admired as she is so interactive and creative in the way she presents. I invited a group of pastor’s wives to my home, including Edith,  for a time to encourage one another and before long she mentioned she too has Parkinson’s disease. She didn’t know that exercise helps slow the advance of the disease. It was a surprise, but it shouldn’t be as my research shows that people with Parkinson’s (PWP) in Peru don’t have a clear understanding of how exercise rebuilds the nerve connections again and practice and movement help with coordination and walking.  To make a long story short it is exciting as Edith helped me host the first Parkinson’s association meeting in my home. Her talk were real blessing to others.

Another member is a lawyer Pablo (name changed) whose wife I know through my current circle. He is very capable in helping me with the paperwork for the association and also helping set it up legally.  His story is that he had been told he ‘shouldn’t dance or exert himself too much’. He actually struggled with this advice as he loved dancing but had to give it up. But scientific studies say the exact opposite. Dancing is an excellent form of exercise as the music helps move people too. Scientific studies say that while stretching is good but one needs to also get out of breath,  – which in Spanish is ‘agitarse’ – like agitate yourself a little. Dancing is great for Parkinson’s but so are running, walking, boxing, yoga and many other forms of exercise. They help with movement and prevent rapid disease progression. Exercise also helps with depression, and social interaction with exercise is great too. 

But this man has had the disease over 10 years, still works full time, and is now accustomed to inactivity. I have heard it said that people with Parkinson’s are resistant to exercise. This sounds strange but depression and apathy are also common and affect motivation. 

So pray for this new friend who wants to help with the association that he’ll have the time and energy to help and that also he can find the motivation to get exercising. I believe he can do it… he just doesn’t know it yet. His wife told me how amazingly smart he is and I don’t doubt it but sadly sometimes Parkinson’s affects so many parts of one’s life and this affects one’s confidence. 

It may all just take a little longer than I had planned but we had a lovely time together with just 5 of us in total. I hope we can integrate others soon. 

My first online speaking engagement

I have been invited to speak at a worldwide online summit (conference called INSIGHT into Parkinson’s 2020. I am honoured and have been thinking about what could encourage others with Parkinson’s Disease. I am preparing and want to practice soon. Exciting!

My photo and profile appears on the speakers list.

I even got invited to another conference to speak via LinkedIn but I think they just do that as a marketing tool to get people along to the conference related to Parkinson’s. Plus the email called me DR Christine Jeyachandran so as you know I am not a Doctor, so I don’t think I can live up to those expectations.

But the INSIGHT Summit is for real. I met Mel, (Melissa McConaughy) the event founder in 2016 when I signed up to do training for Parkinson’s Warrior. This is a set of exercises that help improvement of People with Parkinson’s (PWP) and I bumped into Mel again in Japan at the World Parkinson’s Congress, and she invited me to be a part of Insight 2020.

I have become an advocate for exercise which is something I would never have imagined doing. I just see so many benefits for myself and for others, so I can’t help but tell everyone how it has helped me. I won’t explain all my improvements here but recently my coach mentioned my posture had improved which is something I had not realised. It is nice to make progress. I still would like to make a before and after video about taking up gymnastics to fight the Parkinson’s disease.

Anyone interested in attending the INSIGHT Conference online can follow the link. All tickets are donations to Parkinson’s Research. https://www.insightintopd.com/speakers/

Christine’s Video Update

October 2019

Many have been asking how I am going with my gymnastics. It is not easy but I am still at it and I am enjoying trying new things. Thanks to everyone involved in the video.

New treatment developments for Parkinson’s Disease

Many ask me questions about the new developments that are coming out to treat parkinson’s disease. While I know a lot sometimes I find it hard to explain so here is a great video from Dr Simon Lewis, from University of Sydney, who I met at the World Parkinson’s Congress. He explains everything you might need to know but it is 45 minutes long because it isn’t a simple question to answer.

I think it is worthwhile watching if you make the time. Please share with others and give it a like.

No routine like at home

It’s been amazing to be here in Australia but the hardest thing has been not having my regular schedule of gymnastics classes three times a week for 2 hours each. I do gymnastics here and the people are lovely but it’s a very different approach to what I’m used to as it is mainly x-gymnasts who are advanced. It’s not quite the same. That said I’ve been getting lots of helpful advice from pilates and physiotherapist about how to improve different things that are missing from my workouts in Peru.  So while I am working out, it lacks intensity because I do it at home or when travelling. I’m losing strength and gaining weight from all the good Aussie food. This next few weeks are full of physiotherapy visits so this should help. It is now less than a month until we are home and I’ll be back at it.

Here is me working on my handstand, actually trying to get warm enough to get in the water. It looks warm but it is winter here and it was freezing.

World Parkinson’s Congress 2019 Kyoto JAPAN

The World Parkinson’s Congress in Japan was amazing and life changing. Researcher from around the world joined with patients and carers to hear and share about the latest scientific developments and support each other in this journey called Parkinson’s disease.

A reception for Australian’s got me started on networking. There were hundreds of Aussies and over 60 countries represented. I was the only one from Peru.

I heard talks about advocacy, diet, the best exercise, depression/ apathy and anxiety and coping with early onset Parkinson’s with family/work. Some scientific talks that went over my head and others I’m reviewing at home to remember. I did yoga, a dance class and tango which was so empowering.

I met people from all around the world and I especially tried to connect with Latinos and Spanish people and encouraged people to come visit us in Peru and maybe volunteer there.
I told everyone about how tough it is for sufferers in PERU but was so excited to hear next time it will be in Barcelona so that means Peruvians can attend as the conference will be translated into Spanish as well.
My video did not win – but thanks again to everyone who voted nonetheless. The winning video was professional, one of four entries by the same person and about a legendary campaigner/PWP in the Parkinson’s world who had passed away suddenly. A worthy winner indeed.
It was amazing to see how different the symptoms were around us and that there must have been over 200 people under 55 with Parkinson’s at the conference. Over 2000 people attended from 60 countries.
I loved it so much that I can’t wait for World Parkinson’s Congress in 2022. #WPC2022

Knowing Spanish, I hope I might help in some way with organisation as it is run by a small NGO and as you can imagine it is a mammoth undertaking and they need volunteers to help run it. Maybe you could come and volunteer too.  

Projects and persistence in gymnastics

To go along with the video I have renamed the blog “Handstand for Parkinson’s” and the website is www.handstandforparkinsons.com. I hope this won’t cause too much confusion.

The other news is that I am preparing a Poster “Living with Parkinson’s in Peru”. So I am super busy trying to interview people with the disease and write up their stories and creating charts. I have never done something like this and with the time limit so close (June). I am a bit overwhelmed and have ideas that I am struggling to put into action.

Thanks everyone for your votes and support with the video “Handstanding for Parkinson’s Disease”. I have been so blessed by comments and with votes. The winner isn’t announced until June, but voting has finished.

We’re preparing for our 3 month visit to Australia late May to August which is exciting too.

The fun news is that I am working on a follow-up video called “Before and After” about how my coordination, movement balance and strength  improved by doing gymnastics to combat Parkinson’s. It is half done so watch this space. I am relatively new to video editing so it is taking me time to learn but I’m advancing little by little.

Also I am back at the gym training pretty hard but like pride before the fall my handstand has gone backwards. Firstly my coach prefers that I don’t use a wall for support and secondly I am still frightened and lack consistency in my style. I need to keep practicing! Everyone has these valleys or plateaus but I am working hard. My next video will include some new tricks I am working on… of course I’m not looking like a pro but I’m moving forward nonetheless. April marks the first anniversary of my time in the gym.